What Are Your Values?: Part One

According to the Federal Reserve Board’s 1995 Survey of Consumer Finance, only 42 percent of children aged 14 to 18 live in an intact two-parent married family. This according to The Heritage Foundation (2000) has left many children at risk for a host of problems, from academic underperformance to mood issues like depression and self destructive behavior.

What we are seeing is a redefinition of commitment to family and children. Unhappy marriages also yield significant hazards to children, but with work and time some of these marriages improve. So what is happening?

We are slowly changing our values from commitment to family and clan to commitment to individual happiness. In a way we are all losing here. Divorce is now a perfectly fine option to an unpleasant marriage, and a nasty divorce is sometimes a “reasonable” option to a calm divorce in which you may not be getting everything that you want.

The philosophy of The Intelligent Divorce is to bring our values back to baseline. Our children need stability and a lost marriage does not mean an unending war. We must value the structure of the family, even if it now means the structure of a family has been reconfigured because of a divorce.

Dr. Banschick is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Huffington Post and The CBS Early Show. He is currently finishing the second of three books in The Intelligent Divorce series, which are devoted to teaching parents how to raise well adjusted kids during a divorce. You can reach him at mbanschick@gmail.com or at www.theintelligentdivorce.com

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